Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Cash Stuff for August 16, 2012

WILMINGTON COMMUNITY PAYS TRIBUTE TO CONNIE TINDALL - Family, friends, supporters and classmates all came together August 10th at Union Missionary Baptist Church in Wilmington to pay their final respects to Connie Tindall of the Wilmington Ten. Tindall, who died on August 3rd at the age of 62, was remembered by people like Dr. Benjamin Chavis, leader of the Wilmington Ten, as a man who believed in his people, and community, and wanted the best for them. Tindall, Chavis, and eight others, were sent to prison 40 years ago after they were falsely convicted of conspiracy in connection racial tensions in Wilmington in Feb. 1971. Their convictions were later overturned by a federal appellate court. A legal petition for individual pardons of innocence is pending in Gov. Beverly Perdue's office. [Cash Michaels video clip]


            After only five years on the job, Raleigh Police Chief Harry Patrick Dolan will be stepping done as of Oct. 1, announced Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen Wednesday. Reportedly, Dolan had decided several months ago to retire after 32-years in law enforcement. Allen called Dolan “a champion of community policing.” Deputy Chief of Police Cassandra Deck-Brown will serve as interim Raleigh Police Chief until a permanent chief is found.

            The former principal of Fuquay-Varina High School has now been named the interim principal of Southeast Raleigh High School. Gerald Pickett, who retired in 2005, is replacing John Wall, who left for a better paying position in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. Pickett has served as interim principal at various Wake schools since his retirement.

            This week, Wake Public Schools began its experiment with single-sex academies. On Monday, the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy and Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy opened to great fanfare, with a diverse population of students, dressed in uniforms, attending both. Some students say they think the experience will be better because they won’t have the “distraction” of the sex around them. Attending students will earn two years of college credit upon graduation.

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            When presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced last weekend that the man he felt best suited to be his vice presidential running mate was Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the political world literally stopped on its axis.
            "This election is about values, and today Romney doubled down on his commitment to take our country back to the failed policies of the past," said Jim Messina, President Obama’s campaign manager.
            "Paul Ryan is the largest step the GOP has taken towards solving the USA’s problems since Reagan and Kemp," tweeted Newt Gingrich, former rival to Romney for the GOP nomination.
            With the African-American vote crucial in a battleground state like North Carolina - a swing state that every political expert who knows anything about the Electoral College says Romney has to win in order to reach the 270 he needs to claim the White House - how the Romney-Ryan ticket’s policies will affect the black community is key.
            Right now, Romney and Pres. Obama are in a tight race in the Tar Heel state, just three weeks out from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, with the GOP Convention in Tampa, Fla. the week before.
            The Romney-Ryan message to North Carolina and the nation - Obama’s big government is destroying America. Jobs will come back, they add, when government is cut to the bone.
            Enter Paul Ryan. 
When it comes to fiscal matters, Rep. Ryan, now in his seventh term in Congress and chairman of the House Budget Committee, is considered to be an impressive master of the numbers. It’s what he wants to do to those federal numbers that has made him a darling conservative of the ultra-right Tea Party movement, and a villain in the minds of Democrats who see Ryan’s penchant for government austerity as extremist at best, and an absolute threat to the social safety net for the poor and elderly, at the least.
“Congressman Ryan has developed a spending plan should shock the conscience of every American,” Congressman G. K. Butterfield [D-NC-1] told The Carolinian last November.
            Ryan’s well-known plans for chopping billions from the Medicare and Medicaid programs to help the needy confirm his calling card, and his joining the Romney ticket as the man who would be a  “heartbeat away” if elected, signals to the extreme right-wing conservative base that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and longtime GOP moderate, has heard both their cries and their doubts, and is willing to give them a place at the table if they fully commit to defeating Barack Obama.
            So what does the Ryan choice mean to African-Americans, many of whom are unemployed; are elderly and need Medicare and Medicaid; and whose children are trapped in failing public school systems?
            If the book on Paul Ryan is accurate, then combined with Mitt Romney’s plan to cut taxes for the rich and raise them on the middle-class, it means the African-American community and the poor will see an abrupt negative reversal in public policy that could set them back even further if the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected in the fall.
            “He doesn't just want to trim America's insurance program for the poor,” said The Atlantic magazine in its latest online edition. “He wants to bulldoze the whole thing and replace it with something more modest.”
            Rep. Butterfield called it a “radical approach.”
            According to the so-called “Ryan Plan,” first introduced in 2011 and passed twice in the GOP-led House, the federal government would be getting out of the social safety net business, while giving big tax cuts to the rich.
            Currently, an estimated 62 million Americans - nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population, many of whom are elderly, the disabled, children and parents - receive Medicaid services. In 2010, the federal government spent $263 billion - roughly 60 percent - to cover Medicaid recipients, while the states collectively spent $125 billion.
            Estimates are if a “President” Romney adopted a “Vice President” Paul Ryan’s radical reform of Medicaid - meaning drastic cuts and sending limited block grants to states that couldn’t possibly cover all of their recipients, approximately, “… 44 million additional Americans [would be] without health insurance, in a worst case scenario,” says The Atlantic, adding that under Ryan’s plan, Medicaid spending alone would be cut by $810 billion over ten years.
            Experts say those block grants would soon become insufficient because they would not be designed to grow with the rate of health care costs, thus forcing the states, after a while, to cover less of the poor and disabled once they see the federal government has slowly turned off the spicket.
            "Medicaid is already a very lean program," Edwin Park of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which advocates for low-income people, told the Associated Press this week. "It is not a program where you can magically glean huge efficiencies by just devolving it to the states. The only way to compensate for funding reductions of this magnitude would be to institute deep, damaging cuts to beneficiaries and the health care providers who serve them."
            Under Ryan’s block grant phase out, poor and disabled recipients would not have what they have now - a legal right to coverage under federal law. Indeed, many of the protections currently in force would be lost, experts say.
            On Medicare, the Ryan plan would have future elderly recipients to move over to private health insurance by giving them a stipend for part of the premium costs. They would have to come up the balance of those costs, which would be expected to go up over time.
            “We don’t want to privatize Medicare,” Rep. Butterfield said. “We think it’s an awful plan.”
            And what about Obamacare?
            Romney promised he would have it repealed as soon as he took office as president. Even if he left it alone, if Ryan’s government reform plans were enacted, Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act to provide healthcare coverage and access for 30 million more Americans currently without it, would be crippled.
            The end result is more people would find themselves uninsured in case of medical emergency, experts say.
For Paul Ryan, when it comes to education, the same rule applies. Cut federal education spending by the billions, eliminate the US Dept. of Education, and farm out as much as possible to the private sector.
            The $38 billion Pell Grant program, which helps poor students attend college, many of whom are African-American, would be drastically slashed, limiting participation of the neediest.
            There would also be a dramatic slash to the $14.5 billion in Title I funding, and $11.6 billion in Special Education funding.
            So there’s little question that a Romney-Ryan presidency, with a GOP majority in the both houses of Congress (a remote idea given that Ryan’s austerity threat to Medicare and Medicaid does not play well in local Republican congressional districts), would hurt the very social safety net programs many African-Americans and the poor depend on.
            “If any of this went into effect, “ Rep. Butterfield said of the Ryan Plan last year, “working families [and the poor] in America would be devastated. They would not have the safety they are now entitled to.”
            But some blacks don’t think that’s a bad thing.
            “I do recognize plenty in Rep. Ryan’s record that will serve as legitimate red meat for Democratic Party activists, and Get-Out-The-Vote advertising scripts,” writes economist/author Cedric Muhammad in an August 14th op-ed on Forbes.com. “But I don’t think on balance, that the obvious anti-Left positions of a Republican vice-presidential nominee is the most strategically intriguing fact, where Black Americans are concerned.”
Muhammad continued, “While Rep. Ryan is probably unacceptable to 80% of the likely-to-vote Black electorate automatically, I believe that he and Gov. Romney will receive a hearing from a remaining percentage who do not automatically believe their interests align with the Democratic Party.  This 15% which I refer to as ‘free-agents’ – are comprised of Blacks more concerned with cultural issues, self-help, and asset ownership.”
While some in the African-American community may agree with Muhammad, given an over 14 percent unemployment rate, it’s likely that most won’t.
"[Mitt Romney] said in the first hundred days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules — unchain Wall Street,” bellowed Vice President Joe Biden to a Danville, Virginia crowd Tuesday, a day after he spoke in Durham. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”
                                                      -30 -


            [WAYNE COUNTY] Health department experts say the most important months to protect yourself from mosquito bites in North Carolina is August and September. That’s primarily because of the deadly West Nile virus which, state health officials say, has already claimed its first victim of the year. An unidentified Wayne County man is said to have died as a result of a mosquito bite that transmitted the virus. Experts say make sure you and your family use mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or lemon eucalyptus oil from dawn to duck to guard against infection.

            [CHARLOTTE] An abortion doctor was caught on videotaped angrily challenging anti-abortion protesters at his door to “adopt one of those ugly black babies” in order to get them off “the taxpayers money.” Dr. Ashutosh Vimani, an obstetrician - gynecologist, who works for an abortion clinic, was arguing with members of Operation Save America through his open front door, when the group’s camera caught him as he made the remark. Dr. Vimani was even videotaped saying, “I, as a taxpayer, do not wish for those babies to be born and brought up and kill those people in Colorado,” referring to the recent Batman movie theater slayings in Aurora, Col. several weeks ago. Dr. Vimani has not been available to clarify his remarks.

            [RALEIGH] Southern Business & Development, a leading publication covering and promoting economic development in the American South, announced that North Carolina has been named the “2012 State of the Year.”  North Carolina is being honored as State of the Year based on its performance in 2011.  North Carolina also received this accolade in 2005 and 2006. “This recognition is further proof that North Carolina is a great place to start or grow a business,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “Our investments in education, highly skilled workforce, and low cost of doing business are major reasons that people and businesses thrive in North Carolina.”

MICHELLE AND GABBY "HIGH-FIVE" - First Lady Michelle Obama is thrilled to meet US Olympic Women's Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas during a taping of NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Monday [photo courtesy of NBC]

By Cash Michaels

            31 YEARS THIS WEEK - Monday, August 13th was my 31st anniversary here in North Carolina. It was in 1981 that I came off the Trailways bus from New York City, not knowing a darn thing about North Carolina beyond old “Andy Griffith Show” reruns. And, as I’ve indicated before, my original plan and intention was do three years in commercial radio (which is why I came to North Carolina in the first place), and then head back to New York City to be a star.
            It didn’t quite work out that way because I fell in love with North Carolina and its people.
            Indeed, North Carolina has been the longest “marriage” of my life, and I’m proud of it. This state has given me three careers, two families, two great children and a fantastic wife, and opportunities galore to serve the community, and leave a lasting legacy.
            I’m certainly not as young as I used to be, but as long as GOD gives me strength and direction, I hope to do even greater things in the near future.
            So thank you, North Carolina, for adopting this young man from Brooklyn.
            PS - the food here ain’t half bad, either.
RYAN ON THE TICKET - As we head into the national political conventions, the presidential tickets for both the Democrat and Republican parties are now set.
            Last weekend, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, indeed an interesting choice given Ryan’s previous call for cutting everything in the federal budget short of guns and ammo.
            Ryan is an interesting choice for Romney because it is a clear dog whistle to the extreme right-wing of the conservative movement that the former governor of Massachusetts wants, and indeed needs their full support.
            Remember, the Tea Party folks don’t trust Romney any more than they can throw him. They take one look at his moderate record during his one term as governor of one of the most liberal states in the nation, and they gag. They pull up old YouTube clips of Romney assuring all that he’s pro-choice, and the teabaggers start throwing things at the screen.
            And the poor guy has flip-flopped so much, trying to be everything to everybody, that Romney simply can’t be trusted.
            But more than not standing, nor trusting Romney, the righties want Barack Obama out of the White House so bad, they can taste it.
            To put it another way, they hate his guts…ears and all.
            The right wing will say anything to get people to hate the nation’s first black president as much, if not more than they do. From his allegedly not being born in the country, to his allegedly being a racist who wants to destroy America.
            Remember, it was former Fox News host Glenn Beck who went on the air and told the world that Obama “…is a racist…[and] hates white people.”
            A year later, Beck was hauled off of Fox News so fast, he barely had time to leave a forwarding address.
            The point is, now that Paul Ryan is onboard the “Romney for President” train, we are going to see negative, racist ads like we’ve never seen before. They won’t necessarily come from the campaign itself, but these crazy 527 groups, like the kind that swiftboated Sen. John Kerry during his 2004 campaign, costing him dearly.
            And Paul Ryan will give those kind of attacks perfect cover, because both he and Romney are now on the task of “saving” America from the Obama regime.
            So cussing the president out will be widely accepted.
            Like I said, it is going to be a mess.
            The question is, and I’ve asked this before, what are we going to do about it?
            The future of this nation, and our children, once again rests with whom we vote for for president and the Congress.
            I really hope we’re paying attention to as many important issues as possible.
            Because if we don’t, no matter what our personal feelings or dissatisfactions may be, we will feeling it in the future.
            There are no perfect candidates, and there are no perfect elections.
            We have to work with what we have, folks, or pay the price in the future.
            It’s up to us. No one else can vote for us.
            CONGRATS COACH K - You have to hand it to Duke University Blue Devil Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Coaching the 2012 US Olympic Men’s Basketball team could have been a disaster given all of the egos onboard. But Coach K led them all to gold medals in Sunday’s thrilling game against Spain, so you have to hand it to him.
            It takes a lot to be a leader of special men. It takes a lot to make them see that they’re stronger together than solo. To have such giants like Lebron James - who has had a magnificent year as a world champion with the NBA’s Miami Heat and league MVP; Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers; and both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, all playing for love of country, and pride alone, no money, that takes a special skill.
            And it was clear during the games that all of them had great respect for Coach K, and it was well-deserved.
            So congratulations, Coach K. These were your last Olympic games as coach, but they’ll go down in history as some of the best, thanks to you.
            GABBY AND MICHELLE - If ever Jay Leno’s bookers hit a homerun, it was last Monday evening when they had US Olympic Women’s Gymnast gold medalist Gabby Douglas on with First Lady Michelle Obama. It is rare for a standard talk show to have even one person we admire and hold in hi esteem. But to have two, and to have them both be black women of high achievement, that was special. Of course Jay had fun with them, especially when Gabby admitted that after she won her two gold medals, she broke down and had an Egg McMuffin.
            That was not pleasing news to the First Lady, who has made it a crusade to have America eat right and better. “You’re setting me back, Gabby,” Mrs. Obama teased as the 16-year-old Olympian giggled.
            Thanks Jay, for having these two great Americans on. It made us all feel good.
            THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION - Have my credentials to cover the Democratic National Convention when it comes to Charlotte in a few weeks. This is history, for sure, not only because for the first time the DNC is coming to North Carolina, but it is the first, and may be the only time in modern history that an African-American is re-nominated by his political party to the presidency of the United States. 
Don’t know what to expect as of yet, but you’ll see and read about it all in The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal, and you’ll hear it all on my Thursday radio show, “Make it Happen” on Power 750 WAUG-AM, and www.myWAUG.com at 4 p.m. Sept. 6th, just before President Obama speaks to the nation.
            Looking forward to it.
            PARDON THE WILMINGTON TEN - Since the death of Wilmington Ten member Connie Tindall two weeks ago, more and more people around the country are discovering the cause of the ten civil rights activists who were unjustly convicted of crimes they did not commit 40 years ago. Approximately 540 people have signed the Change.Org online petition. Have you? Sign our Change.Org petition by going to our Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheWilmingtonTenPardonOfInnocenceProject), and clicking the petition link. But don’t stop there. Get your family and friends to do it too.
            This is about justice during an historic year, and you can be part of it.
            Please join us. Thanks. 
            Also, Connie Tindall was buried last week. He had no life insurance. Because he was falsely convicted of a felony 40 years ago, getting insurance would be prohibitive at best, and more expensive than standard rates.
The Wilmington community, led by Mary Alice Thatch, publisher of The Wilmington Journal, is doing what it can to help. A contribution fund has been setup to help with the costs of the service and burial.
The Tindall family asks that checks be made out to THE CONNIE TINDALL FUND, c/o FIRST CITIZENS BANK, P.O. BOX 1619 WILMINGTON, NC, 28402. Contributions to the fund can be dropped off at any First Citizens Bank branch.
Thanks again.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

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